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VIDEO: Minneapolis show opens today

Boat-loan interest rates ranging from 3 to 5 percent, together with gasoline prices hovering around $2 a gallon, are expected to spur sales when the Minneapolis Boat Show opens today for its 43rd running.

Dealers reported good to excellent sales at the recently concluded Minnesota Sportsmen’s Boat, Camping and Vacation Show at RiverCentre in St. Paul, according to the (Minneapolis) Star-Tribune.

In addition to cheap gas and favorable loan rates, pent-up demand for new boats is driving the marketplace, dealers say, after sales plummeted during the recent recession.

New powerboat, outboard, trailer and accessory sales rose to $575 million in 2013 in Minnesota, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, a 4 percent bump from 2012.

Minnesota registers more boats per capita than any other state and is third overall with 808,744, despite having a much smaller population than states such as Michigan, Florida, Texas and California, where boating is also popular. Minnesota supports nearly 8,000 jobs in the marine industry.

Featured at the boat show will be hundreds of watercraft, ranging from canoes to houseboats and yachts, as well as the latest outboards and ma

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